Posted December 8, 2004 by Nick Lindauer in Hot Sauce News

Texas Pete Hot Sauce, has bought a Vermont salsa and tortilla-strip company

By Brian Louis
T.W. Garner Food Co., the maker of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, has bought a Vermont salsa and tortilla-strip company for an undisclosed amount, T.W. Garner’s president said yesterday.

The deal to buy the maker of Green Mountain Gringo salsa and tortilla strips is the first acquisition by T.W. Garner, which is based in Winston-Salem.

“There’s a first time for everything, and we just figured this was the time for us,” said Reg Garner, the president of T.W. Garner, a privately held company.

The purchase expands T.W. Garner’s brand base, and it views the deal as an extension of its sauce business. The purchase gives the company entry into the salsa and tortilla-strip product categories and into a new market – the growing natural-foods market.

“It broadened our horizons on a couple of different fronts,” Garner said.

T.W. Garner, which has about 65 employees in Winston-Salem, also makes jams, jellies and preserves.

Christine and David Hume started the salsa business in their Chester, Vt., farmhouse, selling homemade, all-natural salsa to local stores.

They incorporated Hume Specialties Inc. in 1988, according to records with the Vermont secretary of state.

Sales increased, and the business moved into a former building-supply building and has been expanded over the years to handle increased business.

Green Mountain Gringo salsa and tortilla strips are distributed in natural-, health- and specialty-food stores, and in a number of grocery-store chains, including Winn-Dixie, Harris Teeter and Whole Foods, according to Green Mountain Gringo’s Web site.

Production of the salsa and tortilla strips will be moved to Winston-Salem, Garner said.

He said it will take several months before production starts here.

The deal will result in the loss of from 18 to 23 jobs in Vermont. Those workers will receive severance packages.

T.W. Garner expects that it will have to hire additional workers because of the deal, but it is unclear how many, Garner said.

He said that the company will concentrate on digesting this purchase before thinking about the possibility of doing other deals.

“We’re very excited about this,” Garner said.

Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog